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Potential Trap Game as Florida State Hosts Virginia Tech in ACC Action

The surprising Florida State Seminoles look to stay atop the Atlantic Coast Conference by beating visiting Virginia Tech on Thursday night, but the upcoming schedule could lead FSU to look past the Hokies a bit. The Seminoles opened as 9-point favorites on Bovada’s NCAA basketball betting odds.
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FSU and Duke are a half-game behind North Carolina in the ACC. The Noles (17-7, 8-2) have won eight of nine. They bounced back from an upset loss last Wednesday with a 64-59 home win over Miami on Saturday. Bernard James had 15 of his career-high-tying 18 points in the second half for FSU. James' layup with 16:32 left gave the Seminoles a 32-31 lead. They never trailed again.
Here’s why this could be a lookahead game for FSU: It has three of its next four on the road, all very losable (NC State, Miami and Virginia), and the one home game is against a Duke team that will be looking for payback after losing to the Noles in Durham back on Jan. 21. 
Virginia Tech won’t be going to the NCAA Tournament again this year barring a miracle. The Hokies (14-13, 3-7). Tech actually has won two of three after a major slide. It beat Boston College 66-65 on Sunday. Dorian Finney-Smith scored 17 points, including a tip-in with 1.8 seconds left. Virginia Tech lost freshman forward C.J. Barksdale to a sprained ankle in the game after he made his first career start. He is doubtful for this one. The 6-foot-8, 232-pound Barksdale is playing 11.6 minutes per game, averaging 2.8 points and 2.9 rebounds and the Hokies could use his size vs. the very physical Seminoles.
The Hokies and Noles met in Blacksburg on Jan. 10. FSU won 63-59 in a game in which FSU’s James dominated with 18 points and 15 rebounds. He also blocked three shots and took over the game with his strength in the final minutes. FSU held Virginia Tech to just 21 first-half points and 30.5 percent shooting. That victory started a seven-game winning streak for Florida State, which was just 9-6 at the time (0-1 in ACC), and turned around its season. Tech is 4-13 all-time at FSU’s Donald Tucker Center.
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